Monday, August 15, 2016

The Sound of a Living Heart

"I hear Jesus calling me out of the grave I've been sleeping in. With new lungs, I'll begin again. Lift my voice and sing my part. This is the sound of a living heart." - JJ Heller, Sound of a Living Heart

I haven't written in awhile. Not just here, either. I haven't written anywhere, except for the few school assignments that I somehow manage to eke out every week. No journaling, certainly no noveling, no blogging. Being so silent - silent even to myself - is odd for me. I don't like it. So I decided to break the silence, try and put into words the answer to the question I've been getting from everyone as I come back to life: How was your summer?

It seems like a simple question. On one level, the answer is also simple. I worked a lot more than I did over the school year. I also took a heavier class load. I had very little energy to devote to basically anything else. My co-workers saw me. My classmates saw me. I occasionally saw some of my closest friends. To basically everyone else, I dropped off the face of the earth. I posted things on Facebook mostly to assure people I was still alive, and that was all the interaction I could handle for awhile.

To be completely honest, it started before the summer. Somewhere around Easter I went through one of those seasons where you're digging around your history, and all of a sudden you dredge up a big 'ol chunk of bullshit that you thought you dealt with already. It was a massive piece, actually. Humongous. Monolithic. I wasn't even remotely prepared for it to be dislodged, and when I finally pulled it out of the stone it had been stuck in... I was knocked flat on my ass for awhile. (One of these days, I'll write about what it was, because the eventual process of dealing with it was cool, but for now it was just big and I'm glad it's over).

So I spent a good 4 to 5 months both dealing with that mess, which for me means isolating until someone kicks me in the butt to get a move on (usually Jesus), and then I actually ask for help and fix things. Since then, I've been cleaning up the aftermath of that mess, and desperately trying to rest and recharge because this summer of insanity comes with a nice cherry on top: a semester of student teaching, with assessments galore, hundreds of new people (an introvert's *dream*), and lots of new experiences. All good things. All things I need energy for.

The thing is, it's difficult to re-enter the world when you're already at the end of your energy stores and you have a big new thing going on. So here I am writing, because of all the things in my life, writing is the one thing I can always do. Even when I forget it's an option. I can rejoin the world a bit at a time, and I'm starting here.

When I went through the one big moment last month that finally broke through the majority of the bullshit, the first thing I listened to was the song at the top, on repeat. It was so applicable. It felt like I had life again, after months of drowning.

I can now claim a living heart. It means I feel deeply, which is painful when I have to do things like leave my job and my kids to start this new season. But it also means I get to experience life more fully, which is always something I've struggled with. I just need to learn how to manage the freedom, which is another new thing.

I hope that I follow through on my intention to work out some of the journey here. In the quiet house right now, this seems like a doable thing. Whether the week will allow for it remains to be seen. All I know is that it felt so freeing just to write this. And hey, now you all know how my summer went!

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